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TO CREATE YOUR OWN WEDDING MAGIC LET YOUR WEDDING MATCH YOUR STYLE. Chris and Kyle are big Dr. Who fans and the TARDIS was on the guest book canvas that was to be framed after the wedding. (photo by Hannah Woodard Photography)






Welcome! This site is a tribute to my many wedding couples who have created unique and beautiful surroundings for their weddings. Their creativity and ingenuity reflected their personalities and together we have often created new ways to modernize old traditions.

If you are looking for a minister for your wedding in the Triangle area of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, NC, contact me for a free consultation. Together we can create a ceremony that reflects your love, your personality and your dreams for your future.

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Joanna and Garnetta Celebrate their Rainbow Love with a Heartfelt Commitment Ceremony

You would be hard-pressed to find a happier couple, or one with more joie de vivre than Joanna and Garnetta. They met five years ago when Joanna attended a karaoke show and Garnetta was the DJ. Their mutual interest was immediate and a friendship began that quickly became a deepening love. Within a few months, they were a couple and they have been happily together ever since.

I was so pleased when they decided to work with me for their wedding. I could tell they were going to put their hearts into their ceremony so it was going to be very special - and a lot of fun. I was right on both counts. There are so many things to share about them but I would need a book instead of the space of a blog post, so I am going to have to touch on only the highlights. All the photos here are from their talented photographer, Steve Rubin, of Steve Rubin Photography, who has graciously allowed the use of his photos. He is a kind and caring man and he took a lot of pleasure in capturing for them the true emotions of the event. If you would like to see more of his photos from Joanna and Garnetta’s commitment ceremony, here is a link.

The ceremony and reception took place in their home and, because the weather was rainy all weekend, they had to put up a tent in the yard. As much as they had wanted the ceremony to be under the stars, the weather just wouldn’t cooperate, but it turned out that the tent added a sense of intimacy they hadn’t expected. It was like all the love got bounced back down from the ceiling of the tent and just made everything more.

Joanna’s father had passed away, sadly, so her brother came to town to walk her down the aisle.

She still had her father with her, though, because she carried a small urn containing some of his ashes. I have never seen another bride do this before and it was very touching.

During the ceremony, Joanna and Garnetta included a Memorial Candle to honor Joanna’s father and Garnetta’s grandmother, who would have been 100 years old that day. She was the reason they had chosen to have their ceremony on that particular date and in their home they have a grandmother clock that never runs anymore, being set at the time she passed. The Memorial Candle was beautifully embossed with the names of the loved ones.

Both ladies wrote their vows to each other and read them from cards. Happily, Steve got some shots of their faces as they were listening to the other read their vows.

They also wanted to include a Sand Ceremony, which is a beautiful symbol of lives joined together. The sand was all set up in beautiful vases, awaiting the proper time in the ceremony.

But something none of us had thought about was how sand holds moisture - and that sand had been sitting out in the damp air for a few hours waiting for the ceremony to begin. As they began to pour and some of the sands started to blend into a lovely pattern, most of the sand was damp and became stuck in the vases - and would not pour! Eventually, after determined perseverance, they got all the sand out but it made for a few funny minutes while they worked together to make it happen.

There were multiple musical interludes for songs that are special to Joanna and Garnetta. Through every one of them, Garnetta sang quietly along and Joanna and all of us were charmed by such an honest and sincere display of love.

Eventually it was time for the ring exchange and the kiss.

Joanna was quick to wipe off her lipstick smudge. Very thoughtful.

After the ceremony, as the guests were lining up to blow bubbles around them for their first dance, they hid out beside the house, away from the guests, for a few private moments and some photos.

I came to join them for photos and Steve took this wonderful shot of the three of us together. What happy faces! I really love this photo.

Then they went out on the dance floor for their first dances. I say dances because they actually did two first dances - the second was to an Elvis Presley song that Joanna’s father had recorded before he passed. Deeply moving.

From that point on, the partying began and they put on one heck of a fun party. Garnetta had chosen the whole playlist of wonderful tunes for eating, dancing and having a great time in general. With Garnetta’s expertise as a DJ and she and Joanna’s shared love of music, you can bet they are going to have a grand musical backdrop for the rest of their lives.

Here is a picture of the Best Man making a toast. Check out the expressions on their faces - you can see already the kind of celebration that was coming.

Because this was a commitment ceremony, Rainbow Pride was in the decorations. Joanna made the Flower Girl basket and the Ring Bearer pillow,

the napkins were printed with the rainbow,

and the adorable guest favors were these cute bubble gum machines with hand made tags. “Taste the Rainbow” is a great tag line!

Joanna’s garter was even the rainbow.

On the table by the guest book sat these beautiful wedding goblets and this lovely engagement photo, taken by Steve.

Speaking of the guest book, I have never seen one like this before... it was perfect for a fairy tale wedding.

There were so many fun moments between them and their guests, not to mention everyone thoroughly enjoying themselves out on the dance floor. Here are a couple cute shots with the Flower Girl and Ring Bearer.

And this is a photo of the happy couple with Garnetta’s children. A very nice family, indeed.

Before I left, Steve was tapping guests to help him with a photographic experiment. He had Joanna and Garnetta stand together and lined four of us up to their left. Then he gave the four of us small flashlights and told us to make a specific letter in the air, but make it backwards. (Huh?) We did what we were told, and this is the amazing result - WOW! (I was the E.)

Their beautiful wedding cake was made by Once In A Blue Moon Bakery in Cary. (Don’t you just love that name!) It tasted every bit as good as it looked, which is unusual for so many wedding cakes.

Joanna and Garnetta, thank you so much for your happy, caring approach to life. It is infectious and fun, touching and unforgettable! I LOVE the beautiful, engraved bookmark you gave me and it will be with me forever. Every time I look at it - which will be all the time because I am a big reader - I will think of you and your giant hearts. You deserve all the grand things Life is sure to hold in store. May all your dreams come true in unique and wonderful ways.


Update 3/13/12 - Their photographer, Steve Rubin, has posted a video of his wonderful photos on YouTube and you can watch it at this link. Nice job, Steve. It was fun to relive it all again.


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Anonymous said...

hello!! my fiance and i are in the early stages of planning our wedding and are really impressed by some of your ideas... We were wondering where you got your garter belt? We have been looking for a rainbow garter belt and cant seem to find any that we like... We adore yours! Could you tell us where you purchased it? Also, where did you have your napkins made from? We have a simmilar idea but still trying to find a place that will make them...If you could reply to we would greatly appreciate it! Congratulations to you both, Ginny & Chris

Rev. Barbara Lodge said...

Dear Ginny and Chris

I do not know where Joanna and Garnetta got the items, but I know they did some wide-ranging searches online and locally. I have forwarded your questions on to them with your email address so they can answer you directly.

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! You must be SO excited! Where are your ceremony and reception to be held?

If I can help you in any further way, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Most Sincerely

Rev. Barbara Lodge